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The Bass Anglo proper?.

Geoffrey Crabb

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Thank you for the post and the document. It seems bass anglo concertinas are quite rare and there's little information on them. Appreciate this. The final picture infograph there is amazing, really helps wrap one's mind around all the different key's and where overlaps are and aren't.

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Thanks Geoff. This document describes an 18 button bass Anglo with two rows, but it has a slightly modified C row and an accidental row above it rather than the more conventional C and G rows. I found the numbers on the drawing hard to follow so I took the liberty of redrawing it with all the notes shown (hopefully I managed to transcribe it accurately):


A few questions spring to mind:

Was this layout invented by the Crabb family?

Were many of them made?

Did any other companies make them?

Are any of them still in existence?

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It's an interesting layout. It has some similarities to a semitone-apart melodeon, but also some differences. It does seem an effective way of getting a fully-chromatic range with only a few buttons.


I have only handled a couple of bass anglos, and both had the standard 30-button layout.  One of them was John Kirkpatrick's, and I was surprised how easy and responsive it was to play for such a large instrument.

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Thanks for the responses etc. everybody.


Alex. That's fine if it makes it easier. However, concerning your raised questions, I don't really know ? 😌.?

Since I gleaned the layout info from my archive of Crabb instrument plans from circa 1880, it is certain, that at least one was made in the Crabb, Clerkenwell (1860-91) or Islington (1891-1989), workshops. As I said in the introduction of the doc. notes, it would have been for ensemble work, so, it is possible that it was for early Salvation Army use before the transition, in many cases, to the English. If this were the so, because of the relative lower cost of the Anglo and remembering that Salvationists had to personally buy uniforms and instruments, this Crabb Bass was probably made later in the  Clerkenwell period.  


Howard.  Providing particular care in design and construction was/is done, 30 button (Low, Low) Anglos can be good.



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I sold a 20 key Lachenal bass anglo that went down to the C an octave below John K's I sold it to a collector /player near Melton Mowbray. The bottom C was on a raised bridge and was from a Paris harmonium maker.


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